Today is my 1 year anniversary withhotarugirl
. Happy anniversary sweetie!! She also has a new nephew, so congrats on that too.
And what a good day for it. May I introduce you to the wonder and joy that is Jonathan Coulton
? (NSFW unless you have headphones, or a really freaky boss.)
In the spirit of the holiday, I thought I would share a few thoughts about threesomes and open relationships. The topic came up yesterday as I was asked for advice for a friend of a friend who is thinking about opening up her marriage to the possibility of a threesome. It turns out I had a lot to say on the subject, so I decided to put it in writing. While most of this is geared toward my friend's friend, I figured someone else might find parts of it useful.
First allow me to establish my credentials: I've been in 5 threesome arrangements, both MFF and FMM (haven't tried FFF yet but I'll get around to it eventually). One of them long term, most with friends. I've played unicorn
to couples, been a partner in the 'primary couple', and picked up two people who weren't dating me or each other (by far the most difficult). Additionally, I've been party to a number of three-way makeouts and group fondlings that have a similar dynamic. And I've been extremely lucky. While I wasn't always safe in my youth, none of these arrangements, to my knowledge, has led to an STI, a pregnancy, or even a breakup. I'm no bzero
, but I feel I have a firm grasp on the ins and outs of the process, so to speak.
Wear condoms. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, "condoms" would be it. The long-term benefits of condoms have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
If you're single, be secure in your singleness. If you're a couple, be damned secure as a couple. Everyone has insecurities, and multiple partner sex is a fast and easy way to shine a big honking spotlight on whatever those insecurities are, so be prepared to address them.
Always be honest. It sounds like a no-brainer, but 99.99% (that's a highly scientific figure I just got from the Institute for Making Shit Up) of problems that arise from threesomes are just about people not being truthful with themselves or their partners.
Take time figuring out what you actually want from the scenario. You probably think you know, you're probably at least partially wrong, and even if you spend some time introspecting on the subject, you're likely to surprise yourself with hidden motivations at some point.
Don't get hung up on enacting a specific fantasy. Having a script for the encounter, or a huge list of qualities the hypothetical third has to have is a way to ensure it will never be more than a fantasy. Real life is messy, and you have to make room for it to not match your expectations.
Accept that if you're looking for a third, you and your partner may be looking for very different people. Just because you are attracted to each other doesn't mean you have similar taste.
There's a good chance the sex isn't going to be all that great the first time. Just like virgin sex, you have to experiment a bit and get to know your partners well enough to relax around them before things really get fun.
On the other hand, there's a chance that one or more of you will end up having wayy more fun than expected, or at least more fun than the other partner(s). Know in advance how you feel about this possibility, and what you want to do about it.
Don't be drunk or stoned. Not only does it remove everyone's ability to consent, it impairs awareness and coordination, which are crucial for navigating new and possibly confusing sexual terrain. Besides, with any luck, you'll want to treasure clear memories of the occasion. If you absolutely must drink, get unequivocal consent before taking a sip.
Don't use a threesome as a vehicle to get your partner to try something else that's new to them. If you're both kinky and you want to get kinky with a third, full steam ahead. But if you use the third as a bait to get a particular kink on the table, well, see above re: honesty and expectations.
Be nice to your third. They already feel like a third wheel, because... they kind of are. If things go badly, it's easy to use the new person as a scapegoat. At least have the decency to wait until they've left to blame everything on them.
Of course, most of this assumes you will find someone. But there are a lot of couples out there looking for the same thing you're looking for, and only so many unicorns to go around. Be patient.
Be very clear on the level of emotional involvement you're looking for. A lot of couples start out saying 'none at all,' which makes no sense for most people. Lust is an emotion. If you really don't expect to feel anything for the third, you're better off buying a blow-up doll. Regardless of whether you want something more or less than friendship and attraction, meet and talk with the third in person at least once beforehand in a safe environment with no expectations of things turning sexual that same day.
Make a list of activities, locations, pet names, whatever, that are off-limits or for the 'primary' couple only. If you think about it for a while and you can't think of one, you're probably not being honest with yourself. If you've got more than a dozen, you may need to rethink whether you really want to do this.
Don't go along to get along. If something's not right, speak your mind sooner rather than later. While it might annoy your partners in the short run, it will prevent disaster in the long run.
Have a frank conversation with your partner(s) about your sex drives. If one person wants sex a lot more often than the other, then agree in concrete terms how often you're interested in three-ways taking place. Different definitions of 'occasionally' can be a very serious communication problem.
One way to ease into things, assuming the third is ok with it, is for the third to be an observer/assistant, rather than a primary participant in the actual sex, the first time or so. Conversely, if you're worried about the third feeling insecure or left out, agreeing for the couple to focus their attention primarily on the third can help.
The internet is your friend. Bars, as a general rule, are not. See: sobriety, above.
If you've been having unprotected sex with your monogamous partner, go a few rounds covered with just each other before the threesome. Try out a few different brands/products, get used to how it feels different, and prepare against any temptation you may feel to forgo protection with the third. Make sure to switch condoms every time you switch orifices.
Think about how much time/energy/money you are willing to sink into making this happen. Would you travel, or pay for the third to travel to you? Are you going to set up profiles on dating websites and maintain them? Do you want to seek out your local poly/swinger community?
Agree with each other who is allowed to know about your arrangement, and stick to that agreement. Outing your partner against their will for any reason is a cardinal sin.
Read up on the literature. There is a ton of great information out there. Besides, it will keep you busy while you're waiting for a unicorn to fall in your lap. I like The Ethical Slut
, and I've heard good things about the books Amazon recommends on that page. There are plenty of decent blogs and advice columns. Dan Savage
is a smart guy, even though he's occasionally unfair to bisexuals.
Ignore the haters. Regardless of how many people you choose to tell, you will encounter people who believe this is the Bad Idea To End All Bad Ideas, and that even considering it means you have no respect for yourself or your partner, and no matter what you do it will end in tears and bloodshed, yada yada yada. These people are generally talking out their ass, as evidenced by their unwholsome interest in what goes on in your bedroom.
But trust me on the condoms.
Feel free to continue piling on advice in the comments.